Manscaping

We spend a lot of time discussing women’s hygiene and personal habits.

We seldom talk about men.

It strikes me that there is a BIG double standard (duh) between hygiene habits of women and hygiene habits of men.

I’ve never heard a man worry about how he smells or tastes down there.

And let me tell you, I’ve been with a few FUNKY men.

Why don’t men worry more?

They should (see above statement about funky men).

I knew a German who believed in “taking it all off.”

Everything was so nice and smooth and clean.

I have a picture of him in naught more than a parted bathrobe that literally freezes every woman in her tracks when I show it to them.

Of course there was also Charlie The Aussie who (when I suggested manscaping to him) promptly shut me down by saying, “I’m Australian. We don’t MANSCAPE.”

There must be a happy medium.

Some way a guy can take care of business but not so much that he starts to resemble something under 13 years old.

Would it kill a guy to TRIM?

Do a little weed whacking south of the border?

And, you know, wash thoroughly in the shower every time?

Perhaps shake it one or two EXTRA times till the last drop falls off?

I know it sounds crazy but I’m not a big fan of funk.

And the truth is, men could take a page out of the woman’s playbook and spend a little more time manscaping.

There’s always the EXTRA OPTICAL INCH to be gained!

Death March

My sister heard a rumor in Reno (from a friend) that Angora Lake is an exceptional place to visit.

So instead of going to Donner Lake like we usually do, we drove 2 hours down a narrow one-lane dirt road, to get to the PARKING LOT for Angora Lake.

We were told it just a short hike to Angora Lake.

And indeed, it was a “short” hike.

ALL UPHILL!

My sister and I would walk a hundred feet, and stop to catch our breath.

The altitude combined with our lack of exercise made it a GRUELING hike.

I’m not even clear why we made it except that we drove ALL THIS WAY to see a lake and we were damn sure we were going to see a lake.

When we got there, we ordered sandwiches and fresh made lemonade.

But sitting outside eating our sandwiches, the hornets wouldn’t leave us alone and my sister didn’t have her epi pen with her.

So it too was less than ideal.

Finally, we managed to grab some shade, lay out our towels, and relax around what was a truly BEAUTIFUL alpine lake.

Ten minutes later, thunder could be heard. And dark clouds were blowing in.

Not wanting to get caught in a thunderstorm, we packed up our belongings and headed back down to our car.

The only saving factor in the whole ordeal is that my son Duncan chose to hang with UNR friends and so he wasn’t there to bitch and moan about our situation.

I’m certain he would have been quite vocal.

We made it to our car, but my sister’s legs were rubber bands from the hike downhill so I drove us all the way home. . . down narrow dirt roads, through forests ravaged by fire, through all the South Lake Tahoe CONSTRUCTION traffic, and finally home to Reno.

Oh yeah, did I mention the critters in these parts carry the BUBONIC PLAGUE?!

Yes, that’s right.

THE BLACK PLAGUE.

We stayed away.

Happy hiking!

Hunker Down!

The first thing you need to know about rafting with your two teenage sons is that THEY ARE GOING TO GET YOU SOAKING WET WITH RIVER WATER!

NEVER hand a water cannon to a teenager unless you accept that you’re going to get doused with ice cold Truckee River water.

I knew this going in and so when my oldest son Duncan started spraying me with the water cannon, I was not surprised.

It was SO HOT, it actually felt good.

We traveled down the river, sometimes lazily, sometimes paddling with force.

We hit A LOT OF ROCKS and my sister Lisa popped out of the raft.

Her lower body was in the raft but her upper body was leaning back into the river.

I jumped up and tried to pull her back in.

She was holding on to me and as I was pulling her in, she started to slip.

All the sunblock on her hands and arms made her slippery.

We were also laughing REALLY HARD, which didn’t help matters.

But we were also moving and soon we realized if she didn’t get back into the raft, she was going to be under water.

Then it wasn’t quite so funny.

Lisa let go of me and slipped into the shallow river, stood up, and climbed back in.

We laughed.

But for a second, we both had been scared.

The rafting continued.

We still hit ALL THE ROCKS IN THE RIVER and got hung up a few times but in the end, we made it down to the pick up point.

Tons of fun, if you ask me!

I do

My cousin is engaged.

This is not new news.

This is OLD news.

Because he got engaged MONTHS ago but I have yet to write about it.

You see, my cousin is a very thoughtful man and he hired a company to record the entire proposal.

It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch the video.

And I’ve seen it at least a dozen times.

Each viewing gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

Yes.

Something is right in this world which brought Nick and Katie together.

They are two BEAUTIFUL people, inside and out, and they will have a beautiful family someday, if they choose.

The reason why I’m writing this post is not to say that I believe in love.

Because I do.

Or because I love my cousin.

Which I do.

No.

I’m writing this post because today I made a reservation at the wedding hotel.

Me in a king bed ALL BY MYSELF.

And just once, even though I will have tons of family there, I just don’t want to be alone.

I don’t want to be that woman anymore.

The one who shows up single and gets stuck sitting next to the only single guy at the wedding who is a Trump supporter which depresses me and drives me to drink unusual amounts of wine until I get silly, dance the chicken dance with my family, and have to go back to my hotel early to sleep it off leaving me with a wicked headache in the morning.

Yup.

Okay, so that’s the WORST CASE SCENARIO.

And truthfully, my cousin Jennifer would probably never sit me next to a Trump supporter (unless he’s family J )

But just this once, let an appropriate solution present itself to me so that I’m not flying solo at the wedding.

Please.

 

Call me crazy. . .

A few years back, when I was dating a guy named Steve, I made a brilliant decision to take all 6’4″ of him on a cave crawl camping weekend.

I’d never done  a cave crawl.  I didn’t know what one was like.  It just sounded different and cool.  And it was organized by one of the groups I went on adventures with.  So I signed up.

The cave crawl begins with the leader trying to break you until you crack.  They want to weed out the people who can’t handle it while you’re still close to the surface and can exit quickly.

I watched as our leader disappeared down a hole in the ground.  We all followed blindly.  There was a backup in the crack.  We were all pinned in place waiting for the person in front of us to move.

Heavy breathing, but I emerged.

They’re not kidding when they call it a crawl.  I spent more time on my belly slithering through cracks in the ground than standing upright.  The few times I did walk, the mud was so thick it almost ripped my boots off my feet (we called it sole-sucking mud).

I slithered down  a 6 foot long hole too small to fit a regulation basketball down.  I emerged in the “Womb Room” – a tiny domed room about 1o feet across and 4 feet high.  A giant man followed me down the hole.  My date refused.  The woman in the room with me started to panic.  She left right away.  Then the big guy.  Only he got stuck trying to exit the hole long enough for me to panic.  Finally, I emerged and swore “NEVER AGAIN!”

I can’t lie and say it was all bad though.  Three things stuck me as being fun the and I still think about them now –

  1. Rafting across an underground lake, beautiful and still in the darkness.
  2. Sticking my head into a small cave covered in white crystals like the night sky.
  3. Taking a bath in a trough after the crawl in order to clean up. (You know I like alternative bathing practices)

If you must know, I REALLY hope I never do another cave crawl ever again.  I have no urge to repeat the experience and spend three hours fighting panic attacks waist deep  in mud while hitting my hardhat on low hanging rocks.

Call me crazy.

Allergic to Hawaii

“Wake up!  You need to take your son to urgent care!”

That’s what I woke up to my first day in Hawaii.

“It looks like he has pink eye!”

My sister is a nurse, and when she declares something health-related, I listen.

But where is there Urgent Care on the island of O’ahu?

I quickly do a search on my phone, make a call, and load up Gavin in my rental car for inspection at Urgent Care.

I look at myself in the rear view mirror and discover something surprising. . .

My eye is swollen too!

A lot!

Aren’t we a pair.

So we go to Urgent Care and wait for it to open, busying ourselves with iced coffee we bought at a nearby coffee stand.

Then Gavin points it out.

Closed on Sundays.

And (of course) it’s Sunday.

Gah!

So I take a GOOD LONG LOOK AT GAVIN’S EYEBALL.

The lid is red, but the eyeball is nice and normal.

Probably NOT pink eye.

“What do you say we give it a day and see what happens?” I ask him.

He agrees, but will my sister.

Luckily Lisa agreed too, but asked for us both to pick up and take some Benadryl.

So we did.

And wouldn’t you know it. . . like magic, our swollen eyes took a chill pill and started to relax and look normal.

I believe it was my birthfather who upon seeing our swollen eye picture on Facebook coined the phrase, “YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO HAWAII!”

And indeed, it appeared that we were.

And then I peed my pants

Elton JohnThe first thing you need to know about my trip to Tahoe to see Elton John is that I am in my early 40s. And although I didn’t realize it at the time I was buying the tickets, that makes me a little young for Elton’s demographic.

When I pointed this out to my sister, the man sitting in front of us said, “I heard that,” and gave us a scowl.

The second thing you need to know is that even BEFORE WE HAD DINNER at a nearby restaurant, my sister and I polished off a fifth of vodka. Yum yum! Thank you very much. We had a nice buzz going which is why we had two glasses of wine each with dinner.

Yeah, I know. You can see where this is headed already.

So we had dinner and drinks and then called a cab to take us to Harvey’s to see Elton John.

My sister had ordered two stadium seats for this event specifically and she told me, “Make sure we don’t forget them.”

Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going.

While we each drank 4 Lagunitas Sumpin Sumpin beers, Elton John performed:

  • Bitch (which Lisa and I agreed was Gavin’s theme song)
  • Benny and the Jets
  • Goodbye Norman Jean
  • All the Young Girls
  • Levon
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Love
  • Daniel
  • Philadelphia Freedom
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Rocket Man
  • I Guess That’s why They Call it the Blues

And then I got too drunk to actually write anything else down that makes an iota of sense to me now.

But THE BEST PART was how Lisa and I got home.

We actually were so drunk and turned around we couldn’t find our hotel a mere 4 blocks away so we HOPPED INTO A PRIVATE CAR WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER and my sister paid him $40 to drive us 4 blocks to our hotel.

BUT THERE’S MORE…. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, I peed a little in my pants when we were in his car.

Yup.

I peed my pants.

Nice, eh?

What a night!

Wearing Wasabi

ImageThe sign at the all-you-can-eat sushi bar said that if you order more food than you can eat, you will be charged the a-la-carte price for your sushi.

This weighed heavily on our minds as my sister and I surveyed our table filled with sushi. We were stuffed to the gills and were trying to figure out how to make 20 extra pieces of sushi disappear.

Oh my god, could we do it?!

Being the honest sibling, I just started eating sushi… doing my best to just chew and swallow and not think about how full I already was.

But Lisa, being a little more clever and deceptive, opted to take a different approach.

SHE SHOVED THE SUSHI INTO HER CLEAVAGE!

The waitress came by to check on our progress.  I noticed sushi peeking out of my sister’s cleavage. As the waitress spoke to us, Lisa’s eyes were getting bigger and bigger.  The waitress left.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Listen, we’ve got to get out of here so I can get rid of this sushi. The wasabi is BURNING MY BOOBS!”

When you drink with your sister

Start with a mini bottle of Champagne Pink Pop. Pick it out because it’s in a pink bottle and you think it’s pink. Discover it’s not pink and be disappointed. Try champagne and be even more disappointed. Add orange juice to make it drinkable.

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Try OREgasmic Ale by Rogue Farms, because it’s supposed to be OREgasmic. Discover OREgasmic beer tastes like dirty feet and pot ash. Definitely not orgasmic. Be disappointed.

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Try cheap stacked wine which comes in its own glass. Have low expectations. Have low expectations met. Feel foolish for trying wine which comes with a pull off lid.

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Try Blood Orange Mimosa. Suspect it’s a headache in a bottle with a screw top lid, but love it anyway.  Make your sister drink most of it after dosing it with vodka.

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Graduate to bonafide liquor – making really strong mai tai and screwdriver. Decide to hop in the hot tub naked. Have to hang foot out of hot tub because of new foot tattoo (which effing HURTS). Have sister yell at you when you accidentally dip it in the water. Feel sheepish. Snap selfie anyway.

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UPDATE:  Get RAGING cellulitis (skin infection) from dipping foot in hot tub.  Deal with your sister’s “I-told-you-so’s.”  On antibiotics.  Feel even more sheepish.

Broken

It has been SO LONG since I felt even a SMIDGE of love for a member of the opposite sex, it’s almost like I’m incapable of the emotion.

Oh sure, there was Luke AGES AGO.

And then The Pirate, who I imagined myself to be in love with.

But that was three years ago.

And NOTHING!

Should I worry?

Am I just not meeting men who tug at my heart strings or am I truly broken?

Yes, there’s The Swede who I simply ADORE.

He’s in my heart.

And there’s Coke Can Dan who makes me faint of heart.

But I’m not in love.

What’s up?

The other day someone called me “protective” and I think that’s true.

I am protective.

And NERVOUS about falling for someone.

But I KNOW FOR CERTAIN that I just haven’t felt the tug to go in the direction of love in the past few years.

Because when all is said and done, I am a RISK TAKER.

And given even a GLIMPSE of sharing happiness with another human being, I will risk getting hurt EVERY TIME.

And let me tell you this, I MEET A LOT OF MEN.

A LOT.

So why I’m not in love is a mystery to me.

Maybe I’m broken.